Summary: Let's look at three stories of revival, a man who shouted God's word and ran, an obscure man from the hills, and a bandit turned to God.
Let's look at three stories of revival, a man who shouted God's word and ran, an obscure man from the hills, and a bandit turned to God.
Can Jotham’s story help us understand how revival returned in just one generation?
Abimelech was Gideon’s son by a slave woman from Shechem. In pure lust for power, he murdered all his half brothers except Jotham, who had enough courage to loudly pronounce an inspired curse. A parable which he shouted from Mount Gerizim foretold Abimelech's demise, before Jotham quickly ran and escaped. Prophecy was fulfilled when a woman crushed Abimelech’s skull. (Judges 9)
Jotham “did what was right in the eyes of the Lord” (2 Chronicles 27:2 NIV). Obedient, he “grew powerful because he walked steadfastly before the Lord his God.” (vs. 6) Listening to contemporary prophets like Isaiah, Hosea, Amos, and Micah helped Jotham immensely. Preparing towns and forts and a life dedicated to God are his legacy. A life of humility and faithfulness to God is to be commended. Blessing and honor follow such a life, and he was buried with dignity in the royal tombs.
Rejoice, lovers of God, sometimes revival comes after you shout God’s word and run for your life.
Can revival come through a virtually obscure person from the hills?
Tolah’s leadership accompanied the next revival in Israel, “After Abimelech died, Tola son of Puah, son of Dodo, was the next person to rescue Israel. He was from the tribe of Issachar but lived in the town of Shamir in the hill country of Ephraim. He judged Israel for twenty-three years. When he died, he was buried in Shamir.” (Judges 10:1-2 NLT) Revival is rightly called a rescue or “to save” (NIV, ESV, NASB), and for us, the ultimate rescue is from spiritual death to eternal life.
Rejoice, lovers of God, because the salvation of your soul is life’s greatest revival.
Pedigree is important to some, but not to God, as we will see how He used a known criminal born to a prostitute to bring about revival.
Jephthah was an instrument of salvation for Israel, even though he came from an unpopular background, the bandit son of a harlot. Vowing to sacrifice the first thing that came out of his house, if God gave him victory was a stupid mistake. Foolish decisions or an unpopular background do not stop God from using anyone He chooses in rescuing His people (Judges 11-12). Decisions that he made, even after “the Spirit of the Lord came upon Jephthah,” were far from perfect, as we witness so often in church life.
Rejoice, lovers of God, because He can even use you, despite all your imperfections, to bring about revival.